Saturday, April 4, 2009

People Want Rail, Clean Energy...

but they don't want to pay for it. I'll pay my share. Where do I sign? And where can I pay up for a San Francisco Metro network?
-86% believe that investing in alternative energy will create jobs
-84% support investment in fuel efficient railways
-Solid majorities support policies that transfer wealth to individuals and businesses who invest in clean technology (84% like tax rebates for individuals who reduce energy use, 79% support the same for businesses, 73% support tax rebates on hybrid vehicles, 72% support policies that both reward business that reduce CO2 emissions and penalize those that don’t.)
-68% support investments in energy independence, even if it raises energy costs.
While this should come as no surprise, it’s worth noting that in spite of the overwhelming support for good policy, no one really wants to pay for it. From congestion pricing to gas taxes, overwhelming majorities are opposed to those options that—as framed in the survey—suggest that specific economic pain may be imposed on the specific survey responder.


BruceMcF said...

Smart them ... the idea that someone needs to sacrifice what they have right now, and by extension throw people presently in work out of work, in order to mobilize presently unemployed resources to create new goods, presently unavailable ... is just silly.

For some reason, we have a national government that is complacent about "going into debt" for a reckless overseas military adventure that will obviously leave our economy the poorer, but "going into debt" for things that will pay off handsomely over the next ten, twenty and fifty years generates an reaction like someone allergic to bees thrown on top of a beehive.

BeyondGreen said...

There could be no better investment in America than to invest in America becoming energy independent! We need to utilize everything in out power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil including using our own natural resources. Create cheap clean energy, new badly needed green jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.The high cost of fuel this past year seriously damaged our economy and society. The cost of fuel effects every facet of consumer goods from production to shipping costs. It costs the equivalent of 60 cents per gallon to charge and drive an electric car. If all gasoline cars, trucks, and SUV's instead had plug-in electric drive trains the amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota.We have so much available to us such as wind and solar. Let's spend some of those bail out billions and get busy harnessing this energy. Create cheap clean energy, badly needed new jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. What a win-win situation that would be for our nation at large! There is a really good new book out by Jeff Wilson called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now.

Matt Fisher said...

"Electric" cars are not electrified. They sound great, but I question whether it will reduce driving. It could instead induce people to drive more. And there are still people who say, "Sure, rail looks nice, but it costs money, and I don't want to pay for it".

However, 84% in support of "investment in fuel efficient railways" is a good percentage, despite the propaganda campaign by Wendell Cox and Randal O'Toole. The past eight years of Dubya have been a disaster.

Mad Park said...


The troubles started WAY before W came along - The Reagan/Bush/Clinton-Gingrich/W Presidencies were disasters for the US in so many uncountable ways.

Bob Davis said...

The big problem in getting more people to leave their cars at home (or not even have cars) is that to a large number, if not the majority, of Americans, cars=freedom. Some gun advocates say "I will give up my gun when they pry it from my cold, dead, hand." Even the most active firearms enthusiast is unlikely to fire a weapon more than once a week. Compare that with many family cars that are on the go seven days a week, and the suburbanites who may not say it out loud, but believe that "I will give up my car when they pry my cold, dead fingers from the steering wheel". They'd sooner die than take the bus or train to the hospital. Even if they only drive the car on short hops within the local transit district, it goes when they want to go, not when the timetable says to. One could even say that using public transit requires "discipline", a word that is anathema to many, especially here in the US. The short term answer may be plug in hybrids, which will do "around town" driving on battery power, but will have an engine so the driver won't run out of "juice" at an inopportune time. One person who posts on thinks that as oil becomes scarcer, we may go back to the limited travel of a hundred years ago, with electric railway cars being the main form of powered transport.

arcady said...

"to a large number, if not the majority, of Americans, cars=freedom"
I don't think that's true. I think most people don't really think about it: driving is just a part of daily life in much the same way as eating or breathing.

"They'd sooner die than take the bus or train to the hospital."
Given how poor transit service is for the most part, they'd probably die before they got there. In LA, for example, it's fairly consistently 3 times longer door to door to travel by public transit. What can be done to change it? First, speed up the existing service. Second, market the existing rapid services where they exist. Many people in LA don't know that there's a subway, or even if they do, they don't know where it goes or anything else about it. Third, build more rapid transit, obviously. Recent experience shows that if you build it, they will indeed come.